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Carol Rogers
Indiana Business Research Center

Last modified: Thursday, July 10, 2008

Indiana sees big gains in population among certain cities and towns

July 10, 2008

Editors: Maps detailing population estimates are available online at (under the Population tab).

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The U.S. Census Bureau today (July 10) released to Indiana University's Indiana Business Research Center the population estimates for all cities, towns and townships in the United States (as of July 1, 2007).

The center's findings, based on its role as the state demographer and official representative to the U.S. Census Bureau for Population, reveal the following:

Notably for Indiana, the largest population growth among cities and towns is concentrated in the Indianapolis metro area and Lake County. Five of the state's six largest cities have seen population decline since 2000. Other Indiana highlights are found below.

Indiana's Four Largest Cities

Four Indiana cities had populations greater than 100,000 in 2007: Indianapolis (795,458), Fort Wayne (251,247), Evansville (116,253) and South Bend (104,069).

When measuring change in the population of those cities since the census in 2000, only Indianapolis has experienced consistent population growth since 2000, with an increase of 1.7 percent. Fort Wayne has declined slightly by 0.2 percent, Evansville by 4.2 percent and South Bend by 3.8 percent. However, since 2006 Fort Wayne and Evansville have reversed this trend by registering population increases in both 2006 and 2007.

Indiana's 20 Largest Cities

Among Indiana's 20 largest cities, Fishers is the fastest growing with a population increase of 69.1percent between 2000 and 2007. The other fastest growing communities are Noblesville (39.4 percent), Greenwood (26.3 percent), Carmel (21.4 percent) and Lawrence (9.3 percent). Among Indiana's 20 largest cities, those with the greatest population declines since 2000 include Hammond (-6.8 percent), Gary (-5.9 percent), Evansville (-4.2 percent), Anderson (-4 percent) and Muncie (-3.9 percent).

Fishers also had the largest numeric growth of all Indiana cities with a gain of 27,000 residents since 2000. This gain is twice as large as second-place Indianapolis, which grew by 13,214. Fishers' rank among Indiana's largest cities has accelerated from 19th in 2000 to eighth in 2007.

The Nation's Largest Cities

Indianapolis was the 13th largest city in U.S. in 2007, ranking just behind Jacksonville, Fla. and ahead of San Francisco.

Suburbs Still Growing

Hamilton County is home to three of the top four cities in terms of numeric population gains from 2000 to 2007 -- Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel. Indianapolis is the other city in the top four.

The top eight largest city and town population gains occurred in just four counties in the Indianapolis metro area (Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion).

The top 15 largest city and town population gains are concentrated exclusively in either the Indianapolis metro area or in Lake County.

Portage (ranked 16th), Mishawaka (18th), Lafayette (19th) and West Lafayette (21st) were the largest gainers outside the Indianapolis metro area or Lake County.

Gazelle Communities

The town of Winfield in Lake County is the fastest growing city or town in Indiana since 2000, with a growth rate of 99 percent to bring its 2007 population estimate to 4,209.

Following Winfield in terms of fast seven-year growth rates are Kempton (88.4 percent), Fishers (69.1 percent), New Palestine (61.6 percent) and Pittsboro (51.7 percent).

The town of Kempton (Tipton County) had an estimated population growth of 27 percent between 2006 and 2007 alone. This growth brings Kempton to a 2007 population estimate of 716.

Town and Country

A majority of Hoosiers live in incorporated cities or towns. Sixty-five percent of Indiana's 6.3 million residents live in places that are legally incorporated. This share is down only slightly from the 2000 population estimate level of 65.5 percent.

A significant trend during much of the post-millenial decade has been population growth in unincorporated areas of the state. Unincorporated growth has outpaced growth in incorporated areas by a rate of 2.5 to 1 since 2000. Unincorporated areas have grown by more than twice as much -- 7 percent compared to 3 percent for all cities and towns taken as a whole.

Today's estimates show that this trend has reversed itself sharply in the last two years. Whereas 72 percent of Indiana's growth occurred in unincorporated areas of the state between 2000 and 2005, between 2006 and 2007, 70 percent of the state's growth occurred in incorporated cities and towns.

Established in 1925, the IBRC is an information outreach service of the Kelley School of Business. It provides and interprets economic, demographic and social information needed by business, government, educational and other nonprofit organizations and individual data users in the state and throughout the nation. Its research can be found online at